Saturday, December 15, 2012

The essence of a kindergartner

I was finally able to put it into words this morning. I was talking to my mom, and I was describing how I felt yesterday. I said:

"I think it bothers me so much because they were kindergartners. And, the thing about kindergartners, is that as much as the world and culture may change around them, they will always be kindergartners. To me, they are one of the only groups of people who do not change with 'the times.' Whether they are kindergartners in Nebraska or New York, there is a certain set of characteristics every five-year-old shares. All I could think about yesterday, was they were just like these kids."

What is the essence of a kindergartner? It is the way they...
  • Look on the first day of school -- a mixture of nerves, fear, excitement, and curiosity. 
  • Walk slightly off-balance because of their new backpacks.
  • Laugh out loud at a funny story.
  • Raise their hands and cover their mouths simultaneously in an attempt to hold in what they have to say.
  • Fall into your arms when someone hurts their feelings.
  • Sing while they're swinging... and coloring... and lining up... and going to the bathroom.
  • Run. Everywhere they go.
  • Light up when they realize they just read a book on their own.
  • Count everything.
  • Talk just like their teachers.
  • Tell you how it is - with no filter at all.
  • Compliment their teachers everyday.
  • Hold their library books with pride.
  • Gasp at every surprise.
  • Love to get messy.
  • Smile on their way in the door every morning.
  • Trip over their shoelaces, get up, and just keep on running.
  • Proudly hold out their pictures to show you, with two hands and a smile.
  • Have no sense of time or age.
  • Trust the world around them.
I know that's what bothered me the most. That they were kindergartners -- just like kindergartners everywhere. The last two points are what hurt the most. For, to a kindergartner survivor from yesterday, that trust has been stolen... and there is no way to explain just what "forever" means. 

"Only the best die young," they say. And for this tragedy, it is true.

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